August 2010 Archives

Good cholesterol food sources

Written by Tena Moore

Most people don't think too much about their cholesterol levels unless their doctors tell them they should lower their 'bad cholesterol' levels, otherwise known as LDL, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. To lower bad cholesterol one would cut out saturated fats and trans fats, but what should one eat if they would like to increase their 'good cholesterol', otherwise known as HDL, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol?

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats reduce inflammation in the body and are great food sources for good cholesterol. These fats can be found in oils such as olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and other fatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are also good cholesterol sources, as are nuts such as walnuts and almonds. Soluble fiber is known to reduce 'bad cholesterol' and can be found in foods such as prunes, apples, kidney beans, bananas, oat bran, and oatmeal.

The body needs healthy fats and good cholesterol. If your doctor has recommended that you lower your cholesterol levels and raise your good cholesterol, have some oatmeal with bananas or prunes for breakfast and don't be afraid to add a spoonful of flaxseed oil in the oatmeal, or substitute your toast spread with flaxseed oil. Have nuts and fruit for snacks, a large salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for lunch, and enjoy fresh fish with veggies and rice for dinner.

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Can Eating Honey Help Soothe Joints?

Written by Tena Moore

Dried venom and honey from a Manuka tree - doesn't that sound appetizing? The company that sells it says it's not only a sweet and delicious nectar, but that it can also help ease inflammation for those suffering with arthritis. The product is called Nectar Ease, and is created in New Zealand by Nelson Honey & Marketing Ltd. The company sells organic honey, pollen, venom, and oils, and they are hoping to receive approval from the European Commission to market their special honey to those with arthritis.

The company says that their special honey from the New Zealand Manuka tree, infused with dried honeybee venom from the European (or western) honeybee, offers anti-inflammatory properties and can help ease the pain of arthritic joints. Although the European Commission (EU) says it will consider the Nelson Honey & Marketing Ltd's application, it is unknown as of yet whether the EU will find enough evidence to prove that honeybee venom is an effective complementary and alternative healing method for arthritis.

The Manuka tree is a tree that has been touted for its ability to aid in fighting infection due to powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. The venom is harvested through a process of stimulating bees to sting onto a glass plate for collection.

Nectar Ease honey suggests that patients seek medical advice before using, especially if they have any honeybee allergies, and warns that their product is not to be used for children under one year of age. The recommended dosage is varied, but can start at ΒΌ teaspoon per day, and may be increased to as much as one or two full teaspoons per day.

The special venom honey is not new; it has been available in New Zealand for well over a decade. The idea that honeybee venom can help with arthritis is not new either, some clinics offer bee stings for arthritis, also known as bee-venom therapy, also called apitherapy.

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